The new pen is done!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TLWR, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    We started with the duck hut (the one closer to the ground), then built the chicken hut when I added chickens. They were in front of a bunch of pines and scrub brush. We then had to put a pen around the huts as a family of foxes seems to use our birds to train their new kids how to hunt. Last summer, we had a bunch of pines removed and in the process, the scrub brush was removed too. This left the huts and pen wide open and it just didn't look very nice.

    I had several idea and drew out several plans and DH didn't like any of them. Then he suggested converting the garden into a new duck pen. So that's what we did.

    The chicken and duck huts before we had to put up a pen

    The garden that was re-purposed (this was when it was first built - the grass took over so it was a pain to try to keep the grass from the beds and in the paths)
    There was about 5 cubic yards of pea stone in here... I shoveled all that out and used it in beds around the house and then piled up the rest. I shoved a wagon full of that back into the pen today under their hut, I'm sure I'll be moving more back in later)

    This year's new additions (fox took the other chickens 2 years ago)
    black sex link and barred rock - no ducklings this year)

    we cut a lot of wood LOL

    Our helper, Abby the great dane - she was never far from us any time we were working on the new pen. The doberman stayed inside and pouted because working on the pen cut in on his walks

    On to construction...

    materials cut and laid out

    The garden had 4' fence posts. Gates and corners were cemented in, so didn't want to pull them. Decided to add to them and sandwich them with 1x4s. (the inside will also be covered with a 1x4 just to make it look cleaner and the front will be faced with deck boards to cover the wood sandwich still)

    Moving the chicken hut, put it into the pen with the tractor before we put up the back half, then moved it to where we wanted it by hand before we built the duck portion on

    This morning - chicken hut there, adding the duck hut... you can see in the background the old duck hut, we took all the walls and reused them. We had trex decking in the old duck hut, but DH didn't want to reuse that, so we just painted some more deck boards and used those - has worked well in the chicken hut.

    pen finished, chicken hut moved in, duck hut added below the chicken hut - will need to add some more ventilation to the duck portion now, but they are fence boards, so there are gaps between the boards for now

    Upstairs and downstairs doors open - will only be like this for morning cleanings

    another view of everything open. We made the duck portion - each end just opens wide for easy cleaning and egg fetching since the girls don't always lay their eggs in their bin

    You can see in the people gate there is a duck/chicken door - lets them in and out, but keeps Abby out preventing her from eating their food and making a mess in the yard after...)
    Room enough under the house for the ducks and chicken to hang out when it is scotching hot out. Will add some fast growing something in there that they can hang out under as well.

    The duck/chicken door - took a few peas, a bit of shoving and a bit of "fine, figure it out yourself" and all the ducks and the chicken are willingly going in and out the door and know where it is

    Mostly finished product this afternoon

    need to clean up now - move the old raised garden beds - 3 can be reused somewhere, 1 is totally rotted and the others have a bunch of rotten fence boards, so I'll probably pull those apart and recycle what we can into our wood pile for the next project.
    We'll also add the finishing touches that just make it look a bit nicer and add nothing to functionality.
    Need to plant some grass in there so it isn't a mud pit (they are only penned at night for the fall/winter/spring and then 24/7 unless in the yard with me out there from June-September during baby fox hunting training season)
    Will figure out a pond option for them in there as well. We'll move power to the back side of the pen, so depending on what we do, we will have power for a pump if needed, but their pen pond will be nothing like their back yard raised pond I built them.
  2. pattyhen

    pattyhen Chicks Ducks oh my

    Apr 20, 2007
    It looks really nice. Lots of hard work but it certainly has paid off. You have some lucky ducks and chickens. Thanks for sharing the pics with us.
  3. foxygoober

    foxygoober Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2011
    That is a great looking pen!
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

    Oct 3, 2009
    Western N.C.
    Looks great, yall did an awesome job on it all.
  5. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    Thanks all. I'm quite happy with it.

    I put out some grass seed in half of it today, if it doesn't take, we'll put in some sod.
    Then I planted a bunch of sunflower seeds in the perimeter beds and then put a few veggies in as well and have that fenced from them to get them growing.

    Still have to fix the roof too. When we had the pine trees removed, one was in front of the chicken house and they assured me they could get it without us having to move the chicken house.
    Yeah, it kicked back and took out the side of the chicken house and part of the roof and the side of the garden.

    DH wanted to remove the electric fencing so I said ok, but we have to go higher and will have to bury some fencing around the pen.
    By higher, he thought we were going a foot higher to 5' fencing, he wasn't expecting 7' fencing (which is seems you can not buy, so I improvised and bought 5' fencing then added 2 more feet to it LOL).

    DH got new toys as a result as well. I bought him a dado blade for his saw since I was not interested in multiple passes to make a channel for the lattice. Then he decided we should use the stapler to hang the fence rather than use the u nails. We couldn't find his stapler and sort of remembered tossing it since it wasn't working. So we bought a new one. I let him use it a time or two, but I'm a fan of his pneumatic tools (and I lay claim to the dewalt compound sliding miter saw - he can have the rest of his tools)

    And some day, we will buy a tent thing so we can have some shade while we are working (my tan is no longer MIA [​IMG]) and not have to quickly move saws when it starts to rain.

    Went to buy some plants at the feed store this afternoon and they had a list of chicks and ducks they are getting in and what dates. DH asked if there were any more I wanted. What??? [​IMG][​IMG]But I think I'm good - their ducks are straight run and since everybody is penned up for the summer, I don't want to have to worry about a male duck with the chickens.

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